This week is a quintessential summer vegetable share. Eggplant and yellow squash are finally here and tomatoes are a bit early this year!
What we received in this week’s share:
- Lettuce, carrots, cucumber, scallions, tomato – Lunch salads!
- Cabbage – I’ll combine this with last week’s cabbage and start some homemade sauerkraut.
- Squash, Japanese eggplant, basil, and garlic scapes – I added this to a pasta dish tonight with chicken sausage and the spinach from last week. I let the flavors shine with olive oil and fresh grated pecorino instead of a tomato sauce. We’ve been using a red lentil pasta from Trader Joe’s to cut down on carbs.
- Italian Eggplant, peppers, and garlic scapes – I love charring the skin of the eggplant and then roasting the eggplant whole along with a hot pepper, an onion, and some garlic (scapes will do!). Purée everything in the food processor with some fresh oregano and eat it with pita chips or tortilla chips.
- I’m also thinking seriously about trying this za’atar eggplant fries recipe with a lemon tahini dipping sauce.
- Eggplant is also great sliced and roasted or grilled. Combined with the squash it could make a nice ratatouille.
- Kale – Just like the past few weeks, I’ll make a frittata with the kale and some sausage. I also toss in any leftover garlic scapes.
- Carrots and squash – Both are great for roasting for a quick side dish. Cut the carrots into quarters along their length and the squash into 1-inch thick discs along their width. Roast for 20 minutes at 400F with olive oil and your spices of choice. I like garlic powder or paprika for the squash and cumin for the carrots.
I hope you have a great Independence Day celebration! We’re having friends over to watch fireworks on the Hudson River and having burgers, hotdogs, Old Bay corn salad, guacamole, pasta salad, cupcakes, grilled peaches with creme fraîche, and margaritas. Here is my margarita recipe:
On to the regularly scheduled vegetable program. What we received this week:
- Red leaf lettuce, salad mix, scallions, cucumbers, broccoli – Salads! While broccoli is a good dinner side, we love it raw in salads.
- Carrots – One of our favorite things to do with carrots with beautiful tops like this is roast them, make a pesto with the tops, and serve it all with burrata. Since we don’t have burrata on-hand right now, we’ll probably eat these as snacks by themselves or chop them up in salads. We’re using the tops as a July 4 table centerpiece.
- Chinese cabbage and cilantro – A few weeks ago I made a Vietnamese pork and rice noodles dish with a bunch of herbs I had. It would also be good with a crunchy cabbage and nuoc cham slaw, so I’m going to make it again this week. The dish is served cold, so it will be really god for this hot weather.
- Zucchini – Normally we like to make zucchini noodles with pasta sauce, but that usually takes two zucchini. This week I think we’ll just cut this one into half moons and roast it at 350F for 20 minutes with salt, pepper, and paprika.
- Garlic Scapes and Kale – The frittata we made with the kale last week was really convenient for breakfast, so I’m going to make another one. I have some italian sausage and onions, which will pair well with some of the garlic scapes and kale.
- Cabbage – I’m going to save this cabbage and combine it with a future cabbage and make some homemade sauerkraut.
We are reaching the end of the early vegetables: Spinach, bok choi, arugula, garlic scapes, turnips, etc. Summer vegetables are starting to come in: Broccoli, cucumbers, squash, carrots, beans, kale, beets, etc.
We’re visiting the farm this weekend for a picnic. We’re excited to see where our food grows and meet the farmer and his apprentices! We might also go help pick garlic there on July 4.
What we received in our share this week:
- Lettuce, Scallions, and Cilantro: I’ll add these to taco salads for lunch this week. I’ll probably use the cilantro for guacamole, too.
- Beets: I’ll roast them and serve them with lentils, feta, and aioli.
- Broccoli: Just a simple steaming or roasting with garlic, served as a side for pork tenderloin or steak.
- Cucumber, Garlic Scapes, Chinese Cabbage, and Scallions: I’ll probably make some light kimchi and serve it with bulgogi and rice. It is also timely for upcoming Independence Day because kimchi on hotdogs is amazing.
- Kale: Tossing it in a frittata with sausage this weekend.
- Spinach: We still have quite a bit of spinach right now, so I’ll either make this into creamed spinach or freeze it so I can cream it later.
What we received in our share this week:
- Spinach, lettuce, scallions, and cucumber – Lunch salads! You’ll probably read that all summer long.
- Bibb lettuce – We didn’t chop this for salads. We’re keeping it whole and using the leaves for taco wrappers.
- Basil – I used this tonight in round two of the Vietnamese pork and cold rice noodles dish. I made enough for two meals and needed another set of fresh herbs to chop up and throw in there.
- Bok Choi – I’m going to stir fry it with quinoa and chicken.
- Turnips and kohlrabi – Earlier this week I pickled turnips and kohlrabi. It turned out great. This week I’ll chop them up into roughly finger-sized sticks and roast them with olive oil and minced garlic.
- Garlic Scapes – I’ll chop up some of the garlic scapes and use them in salads. The rest we’ll throw in a frittata with spinach and sausage on Saturday for breakfast.
How we prep greens for salad
Here’s what we do every Tuesday night to make our week easier:
- Wash all of the greens in a bowl in the sink, a batch at a time. If it is a head of lettuce, we separate the leaves from the head.
- Chop the big greens, leave the small ones like spinach and arugula alone.
- Spin the greens dry in a small salad spinner we picked up a few years ago.
- Store the greens in gallon-sized ziplock bags that we leave unzipped. We put these bags in the drawers at the bottom of our fridge.
Everything usually keeps for about a week, but we prioritize eating the chopped greens first, since they wilt faster. Prepping the greens ahead of time makes putting together lunch salads a breeze.
See you next week!
We love CSA season because it saves us from ourselves. If we had to choose each week to buy these vegetables, we probably wouldn’t. We’d probably eat sandwiches or pizza in their place. Since we made the healthy choice once and it lasts for the rest of the summer, we get a lot more veggies in our diet. We hate wasting food, so we get creative and we persevere through those nights when we are tired and don’t want to cook. CSAs are a good thing.
What we received this week
Here’s what we’re doing with it:
- Garlic Scapes and Spinach – I made a pesto with the garlic scapes, a handful of spinach, juice from one lemon, two tablespoons of pine nuts, and 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan. We ate it tonight with red lentil pasta, cherry tomatos, and skirt steak. (If you are looking for other things to do with garlic scapes, I wrote a post about them last year!)
- Arugula, lettuce, cucumber, scallions, and the rest of the Spinach – Salads for lunch!
- Turnips – We love this Turnips in Mustard Sauce recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. That is definitely how we’ll use these gorgeous turnips this week.
- Kohlrabi – Last week I peeled the kohlrabi and cut it into thin slices and tossed it into a stir fry with chicken, carrots, baby corn, bell peppers, broccoli, bok choi, chicken, and rice noodles. I’ll either do something similar this week or dice it up and throw it in a breakfast skillet with potatoes, bacon, bell peppers, and onions.
Our salad template
Since we’ve been getting a lot of greens that we’ve been using for salads, here is our salad template:
- Greens – Spinach, arugula, green/red leaf lettuce, tatsoi, etc)
- Protein – This is mostly dinner leftovers, but some weeks I’ll cook some chicken or flank steak and slice it thinly and we keep it in a container just for salads. On busy weeks like this one, I’ll pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and shred it when I get home, then we’ll use that for the protein.
- Vegetables – We use whatever we have on-hand. This is usually scallions, bell peppers, radishes, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. Amanda and I usually dice a bunch up on Tuesday nights and keep them in the fridge so we can throw salads together quickly. Occasionally we include green beans, snap peas, carrots, zucchini, squash, etc. I’m not kidding when I say it is whatever we have. Salads are an excuse to eat vegetables for lunch instead of burgers.
- Cheese – We love cheese and always have some type of it around. As long it is hard enough to grate, it goes on salads.
- Dressing – Here are a few dressings we love:
- Lemon juice, olive oil, and black pepper – This is a regular for us. We squeeze half a lemon on some greens, drizzle some nice olive oil on top, give it a few cranks with your black pepper mill, and mix it all up. We’ve been using this Frankies 457 olive oil. We found a great deal on it locally.
- Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and black pepper. For two people, we do 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 table spoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and a few cranks of black pepper. We often mix it together right in the bowl with the salad greens and toss everything to coat. It is worth using some quality balsamic since it is the backbone of the dressing. We’ve been using this 18 year from The Olive Scene.
- Creamy oil-roasted garlic dressing
- Not a dressing, but this is our favorite seasoning for salads: Sunny Paris from Penzeys.
I took photos of the last two weeks of CSA shares we received, but took my time in getting around to posting them due to some fly fishing, hiking, and an uptick in work. The wait is over.
- Lettuces – We chopped up both lettuces for salads. We are doing the Whole 30 again this month, so we’ve been eating a lot of salads for lunch.
- Kale – We chopped up the kale and combined it with week 4’s rainbow chard and sautéed it all up with bacon, an onion, and some of the garlic scapes.
- Zucchini – We combined this zucchini with a few more that we got from the store and we made a big batch of Fergus Henderson’s mushy zucchini when we had our friends Dakota, Greg, and Madeline over for dinner last week.
- Kohlrabi – I’m probably going to combine this with the small head of cabbage from week 4 and make a big batch of coleslaw. Another good option is peeling, dicing it in large chunks, and roasting it with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I’ll take the greens and either add them to a salad or combine them with some other greens and sauté them.
- Scallions – We sliced up the green onions and added them to salads and a sausage and broccoli frittata.
- Garlic scapes – We sliced them up and used them in sautéed greens and a sausage and broccoli frittata. Here are some more ways to use garlic scapes.
- Lettuce – We chopped the lettuce up for salad again. Eating lots of salad for lunch these days.
- Cucumbers – We cut one up to add to a salad and cut up another for a side at a picnic we had after a hike. The third will meet a similar fate.
- Cabbage – Amanda and I are turning the cabbage into coleslaw today, along with the kohlrabi from week 3.
- Zucchini – We are turning the zucchini into noodles with a spiral attachment for our Kitchenaid mixer and making a quick cherry tomato sauce with chicken sausage.
- Rainbow chard – We chopped up the chard and sautéed it with the kale and garlic scapes from week 3, an onion, and bacon.
I’ll catch you again this weekend with this Friday’s share!
If you planted your garlic late last fall before the first frost, you are probably ready to harvest the scapes–the twisty little pointy part growing on the stalk from the middle of the leaves. Scapes are the flower stalks of the garlic plant, though garlic doesn’t produce actual flowers.
We cut them off early in the season so that the plan uses its energy in growing large bulbs instead. Also, earlier cuts have milder flavors. The flavor of the scapes get stronger and more harsh the longer they grow.
Instead of throwing them out, here are five ways you can use them:
- Slice them up like regular garlic. The flavor isn’t as strong as regular garlic, but it is still there, so you can slice up the scapes and include them in any dish that you want garlic in. Or, since the flavor is mild, you can cut them in larger segments and use them like you would use green onions in a salad.
- Add them to aioli. Garlicky aioli is a wonderful dip/spread. Use some garlic scapes in place of garlic cloves. The final mixture will be pale green.
- Make a pesto. This is a great addition to a homemade pizza.
- Pickle them. Cut them into 2in segments and use your favorite vinegar pickle brine.
- Add them to scrambled eggs (1/8-1/4in segments) or to omelettes (1/2-1in segments). Sauté them in a little butter first to soften them up, then add them to your eggs. They add a wonderful mild garlic flavor to your breakfast. We like adding salt, pepper, and grated pecorino.
I used one in scrambled eggs right after I picked ours:
We’re probably going to use the rest of ours in omelettes. How do you like using garlic scapes? Let me know in the comments!